I’ve had a little excitement in my life recently…the kind no one wants. It has made me think about how I would handle something like this when I’m out traveling.
It was my first weekend off; no training, no duty, no real plans, able to spend it how I wanted to. So I thought.
My son went to one of those indoor trampoline places in the county north of us on Friday night with about 11 of his friends. Boys night out they called it. At the same time a friend of mine and I were over at a friends house for band practice. (I’ll blog about band practice soon, I promise) Because I knew we would be drinking I had my son drop us off, and he was going to pick us up after his boys night out.
Just as I cracked open my fourth, or so, Mike’s hard lemonade my phone started to ring with a number I didn’t recognize. They left a message, so I decided to listen to it…mothers intuition. It was one of my son’s friends letting me know that my son had broken his leg and an ambulance was on it’s way to the trampoline place to pick him up and take him to the hospital. As I finished listening to the message my sons friend called again and I quickly hit answer on my cell phone.
He told me my son was ok, but that he broke his leg…bad. He asked if I wanted to talk to him and I said, yes, please. My son got on the phone, totally in shock, and says calmly, mom, I broke my leg and the paramedics are here now. In the background I hear the paramedics say, hey bud, what do you have going on? and my son says back, I broke my leg…look! He must have lifted his leg up and showed them how his leg bent…where it wasn’t supposed to. I heard the paramedics say, ooooohhhhhhhh. And one thing I know from working with emergency responders including paramedics is that not much makes them react that way. Obviously an L shaped lower leg did the trick!
I asked him what hospital they were taking him too and I told him I was on my way. I also told him he should take pictures of his leg for my dad and I. He said he didn’t have his phone.
Once I found my mom cape in my purse and put it on, I asked who could drive my friend and I to the hospital to see my son. One of my friends was able to drive. So grateful to her.
Once in the car, I started making my phones calls.
I decided to start with my parents. My dad was a volunteer firefighter for most of my life and I was always told that you never called someone after 9pm unless someone died or was injured. It was 9:30 pm, and I was calling my parents. I knew my dad would answer the phone, not my mom. My dad said hello and the first thing I said was, don’t worry dad, no one died. He said, ok. And I said, well, something bad happened, well it’s not bad, but well, it’s not good. Then I told him I was traveling to the hospital to see my son. I told him I would let he and mom know what was going on once I got there and talked to the doctor. My mom would inevitably not sleep that night and as it turned out, neither would my son nor I.
I then called my sons dad to let him know what was going on. He was at work and asked me to keep him posted. I told him I would.
We arrived at the hospital in record time. As we walked into the emergency room I saw four of my son’s friends. I walked over and they were quite amped up, as expected. They said when my son broke his leg that the crack was heard throughout the whole building. Everyone stopped and looked towards the noise. They thought he just broke a spring on one of the trampolines…wish it was that. They also said the employees of the trampoline park handed out free passes to everyone that was in the building when my son broke his leg. Payment to ease the trauma I guess.
Once I made sure the boys called their parents to let them know what had happened and where they were, I went to the front desk and told them I was there to see my son. They saw my mom cape and nodded like they knew who I was.
Well, not really.
They said, ohhhhh, yeah….ummmm…….. They had witnessed the L leg and were wondering what type of mom I was; hysterical or calm. They obviously didn’t know how the mom cape works. (in case you were wondering, I’m the calm mom)
The paperwork, oh how they love their paperwork. After that mess was done, I had to get a pass from security and have them escort me thru the locked doors to the emergency room rooms. Once thru I was on my own and looking for room 30. I had to ask where it was. They pointed to a shut door and as I walked up to it I could hear my son yelling. So I pushed the door open and saw about six people working on him. They all looked at me and the doctor said, you must be mom. (the mom cape must have tipped him off) My son already had an IV, they were doing another round of vitals and they were just finishing up with the wrapping of the infamous L leg.
I asked my son how he was doing, and he smiled at me and said good. He was higher then a kite. My dad called as I entered the room and I asked my son if he wanted to talk to grandpa. He said yes. I think that made my parents feel a little better.
I stood by my sons bed to listen to the verdict. The doc told me that my son had broken both leg bones and he would have to have surgery either that night or the next morning. I told them I understood and thanked them.
My son’s nurse was great. My son was so high that he was cracking jokes and making us all laugh. I asked her if my sons friends could come back to see him. I thought it would be good for them to see that he was ok after seeing the trauma of that break. She agreed, but only two at a time. I hope that helped them deal with the events. One of his friends told me I was more calm then his mom upon hearing the news of the break heard around the world. My mom cape works pretty well.
After the visits I headed out to the waiting room and told everyone they could go home and get some rest. I told them I was going to be staying at the hospital. It was already after 1 am.
They eventually moved my son to a small room that only separated the patients with a curtain. They allowed me to stay the night next to his bed. They brought me a chair that had a foot rest that popped out. My son and I didn’t sleep much at all but who can in a hospital. It feels like your in a bed and breakfast with no locks on the doors where people come in every hour to mess with you. At least they have good drugs there.
Once morning arrived, so did my parents. They brought us clothes and a phone charger from our house…the essentials. And we sat and waited, and waited and waited. My son’s dad showed up around noon. Then they finally told us that they were able to get the operating room booked for 1:00pm that day. They moved my son up to the ‘holding pen’ for surgeries, and we were allowed to follow.
Once there my son quickly made friends with his anesthesiologist. At the end of one conversation they even fist bumped. The orthopedic doctor came in to let us know the game plan. Once he was done he asked if we had any questions or concerns. I told him calmly, but firmly to please take care of my child. I told him that he’s the only child I have, I can’t have anymore. He assured me that he would treat my son like he would his own child. That made me feel a little better.
The surgery went very well. My son had a titanium rod and two screws put into his lower leg. After recovery they moved him to his own private room and the many visitors trickled in. I stayed until visiting hours were over and then with my son in a drug induced sleep, I walked out to my Durango and drove 30 minutes back to my county. I didn’t sleep much, but it was nice to be in a bed and not a chair.
The next morning I was heading back up to the hospital. My son was going to be released that afternoon. We had a couple more visitors, more paperwork and physical therapy. Due to my upcoming work schedule, and our house having stairs it was decided that my son would stay with grandma and grandpa until later that week when I could get some time off and move him back home.
After being released I took him straight to my parents house and put him into the spare room. His friends took his TV and gaming system over, I picked up the prescriptions and my parents started the search for the shower chair and crutches.
My son, less than three months away from graduating high school. My son, the one who just started his last track season of his high school career, and was on track to beat some records this season. It’s devastating for him not being able to run for his high school again. I can’t fix that, and I so wish I could. The doctor has told us that my son will be able to run again, but it will be a long time until then.
As I type this, my son is currently at my parents house, recovering from his surgery and being well taken care of. We are very blessed to have all the support from friends and family.
Now the immediate crisis is over I can take my mom cape off and put it back into my purse again. I’m sure I’ll have to take it out again someday, but hopefully not too soon.